Sunday saw the landfall of Hurricane Fiona in the southwest of Puerto Rico, just after the entire island lost power due to the storm’s battering, which came nearly five years to the day after the U.S. territory was devastated by the catastrophic Hurricane Maria.
The National Hurricane Center reported that Fiona, a Category 1 storm, made landfall in Puerto Rico at 3:20 p.m. EDT and brought 85 mph maximum sustained winds. Forecasters predict that the system will cause historic rainfall of up to 30 inches, severe floods, and hazardous mudslides.
Governor Pedro Pierluisi of Puerto Rico remarked, “The losses that we are experiencing are devastating.”
Police claim that the National Guard erected a bridge in the central mountain village of Utuado when Hurricane Maria struck on September 20, 2017, but the storm washed it away.
As floodwaters swelled and flooded automobiles, first floors, and an airport runway on the southern part of the island, hundreds of people were evacuated or saved.
The power transmission and distribution firm, LUMA Energy, claimed that strong winds damaged transmission cables, causing “a blackout on the entire island.” According to LUMA, it might take many days to fully restore power.
The region, which is populated by 3.2 million people, the vast majority of whom are Americans, was placed under emergency declaration by President Joe Biden.